In high performance heavy-duty engines, turbine inlet temperature is considerably higher than the melting point of the metals used for turbine components e.g. nozzle guide vanes, turbine rotor blades, platforms and discs, etc. Cooling of those components is therefore essential and is achieved by diverting a few percent of the compressed air from extraction points in the compressor and passing it to the turbine through stationary ducts and over rotating shafts and discs. All those elements form the so-called secondary air system of the gas turbine, whose correct design is hence fundamental for safety, reliability and performance of the engine. Secondary air system analysis is generally performed using one dimensional calculation procedures, based correlations both for pressure losses and heat transfer coefficient evaluations. Such calculation approach, usually used in industry, takes advantages in terms of reduced computational resources. Besides, for those elements of air systems where multidimensional flow effects are not negligible and the flow field structure is highly complex, the one-dimensional–correlative modeling needs to be supported by CFD investigations. Among these elements, rotating cavities need a careful modeling in order to correctly estimate discs temperature and the minimum amount of purge air to prevent hot gas ingestion. Ansaldo Energia is facing the investigation of secondary air system of Vx4.3A gas turbine models also by using numerical tools developed by Dipartimento di Energetica “Sergio Stecco” of University of Florence. They include both a one-dimensional cavity solver and a 3D unstructured finite volume code of compressible Navier-Stokes Equation based on open source C++ Open-Foam libraries for continuum mechanics. The first numerical tool has been widely employed in simplified analysis of stator-rotor cavities and is undergoing to be integrated into a in-house lumped-parameters fluid network solver simulating the entire secondary air system. This paper is aimed at discussing some interesting results from numerical tests performed with the above discussed programs on stator-rotor cavities of a V94.3A2 gas turbine. Such numerical analysis was addressed both for better understanding the flow phenomena in the wheel space regions and for testing and verifying the experimental correlations and the calculation procedure implemented in the one-dimensional program. A detailed comparative analysis between the two different codes will be shown, both in adiabatic and heat transfer conditions.

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